Rwanda and Italy have signed an agreement that will see the two countries open skies for each other’s commercial airlines, under what is known as bilateral air services agreements in aviation terms.
The agreement was signed this morning between Rwanda’s Minister for Infrastructure, Claver Gatete and Italy’s Ambassador to Uganda, Domenico Fornara.
Fornara also oversees Italy’s interests in Rwanda and Burundi.
Gatete told the press that the agreement could help expand Rwanda’s air transport network.
The arrangement was agreed upon last year in Sri Lanka between Rwanda and the European nation, the minister revealed.
“This agreement was negotiated and agreed upon in Colombo, Sri Lanka last year in December, and now we are putting on a signature so that we can be able to benefit from it,” he revealed, adding that it also signifies the increasing cooperation between Italy and Rwanda.
But Fornara indicated that what was signed was a legal framework, which will form a basis on which other technical processes would follow.
“The agreement is a legal framework. It creates all the basis on which technical levels can work without further engaging political organisations,” he noted.
The technical processes that Fornara meant normally include regulation of frequency and capacity of air services between the two countries, pricing and other commercial aspects.
The agreement signed will now allow the national carrier, RwandAir, to operate air services to Italy as well as Italy’s commercial airlines to operate in Rwanda without restrictions.
RwandAir operates two routes to European; Kigali-London and Kigali-Brussels. The new agreement will allow the airline to widen its footprint in Europe.